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THE TREE




I love trees. They talk to us in so many ways. A tree that is very special to my memory is the gigantic magnolia tree in the front yard of my Aunt Hattie’s home. This photo however is not the one I'm referring to. When I was a child my siblings and I would race to this tree to see who could start the climb first.


I am not one now or back then to be athletic. One of my brothers was athletic and quite competitive. That tree was the exception to my lack of athleticism and was fun. The bark on the tree was rough and made it a breeze to dig our little shoes into. The branches were low enough to reach that my small stature could grab and hurl myself upwards.


Once on the tree, then the fun began. Branch after branch became challenge after challenge. If you are familiar with magnolia trees you know they have huge blossoms that can be scary to a little girl such as myself more than a few years ago. My Aunt Hattie would cut them off and put them in our bedrooms in a bowl of water. They close up at night and open with the sunrise. It reminds me looking back of one in a movie, Little Shop of Horrors. And it was spooky and terrifying to me at the time.And I still find it somewhat creepy.


Aunt Hettie's magnolia tree is no longer standing yet the memory of it being in front of her house will always be in my heart. Many years I spent there and many times I climbed that giant of a tree and never fell. It kept me secure as a child, embraced by it’s branches. In hindsight, I was fearless in that tree. It must have given me a great sense of security when I was high up surrounded and encompassed by it's arms.


Now that I sit and consider the contrast, the big loving tree provided a place of solace and fun while it's lovely blossoms were frightening. How can something provide both? I will ponder that a bit longer. And truthfully, I have not considered it before. Perhaps the tree was teaching me something more than a child could grasp. It is possible that the challenge of the climb was helping me face fear in the big things but realizing the 'little' things were where the fear was.


On that note, reflect on how you may have faced something huge in your life fearlessly but a small seemingly insignificant thing caused you to tremble. I'll be back soon while you think about that. Time to climb....

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